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September 12 2017 @ 02:32 pm
Episode Discuss: 301 The Battle Joined  
The Battle Joined opens on the battlefield of Culloden Moor where Jamie who is barely alive with a dead Black Jack Randall sprawled on top of him recalls the battle in flashes of memory and remembers coming face to face with Randall on the battlefield where he killed him (victory!). Jamie looks out over the moor and sees a ghostly figure of Claire moving towards him. She kneels beside him and Jamie comes back to himself to discover Rupert checking on him.


Meanwhile, in the 20th century Claire and Frank are buying a house. Flash forward and Claire is considerably more pregnant and trying to light the stove with no luck. She has an epiphany and goes out to buy wood to light a fire in the hearth. A neighbor woman helps her bring in the wood and talks with her about her husband telling Claire she is lucky to have Frank. Claire later goes to meet Frank's boss who is totally sexist and believes a woman's place is in the home with babies. Flash forward a bit more and Claire is preparing breakfast when a jovial Frank comes in and makes light conversation with her. Claire tells Frank she wants to become an American citizen to make a real home for their child. Frank is bolstered by her use of "our child," but when he tries to touch her she flinches away from him. A fight ensues which culminates in Frank accusing her of adultery and her throwing an ashtray at his head (he ducked).

Back in the 18th century, Jamie wakes in a barn where Rupert carried him too. Their are Jacobites hiding from the English but that doesn't last long as Lord Melton arrives with his men and beings executing the traitors. Rupert forgives Jamie for killing Dougal as he goes to his own death (so sad).

In Boston circa 1950s, Frank is restless on the couch and gets up to write Rev. Wakefield a letter about searching for Jamie when Frank comes down to tell him her waters broke.

Back in the 18th century, Jamie is next to be executed and when he gives his full name Lord Melton realizes Jamie is the one who saved his brother John William Grey at Carryarick. He owes him a debt of honor. Melton sends Jamie back to Lallybroch in a wagon were he is warmly received by Jenny and Ian.

Back at the 20th century hospital, Claire is dealing with another inept male who thinks she knows nothing about giving birth and ends up being put under after news of her previous miscarriage comes out. She wakes later in distress wondering if she's lost another baby. Frank comes in with a squirming red haired little girl who they are both overjoyed to see and the have a bonding moment where they both want to start over and try at their marriage. Then the nurse asks where the baby got her red hair.

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siobhan63: powerpuffmesiobhan63 on September 13th, 2017 03:39 pm (UTC)
The title of the episode -- The Battle Joined -- there's the obvious meaning -- Jamie joining the battle on Culloden moor, and Claire's battles with Frank, but to me it also refers to Jamie and Claire's individual battles to remake their lives without each other. And in Jamie's case, simply finding the will to continue living.

The acting in this episode was stellar from all three of our principal leads. Sam as Jamie didn't have much to say in terms of actual dialogue, but he certainly managed to say a lot through his facial expressions. Meanwhile, Caitriona and Tobias do such a marvellous dance as Claire and Frank. I know there are so many Frank haters out there, and I see on Twitter how much abuse the producers get for making Frank's role more prominent than it is in the books, but I don't care -- I love it. I never hated Frank in the book -- I don't see how anyone can hate someone put in such an impossible situation. However, the reality is that we don't get much Frank in the book, and when we do, it's not from his POV, it's Claire's memories -- and let's face it, she isn't the most reliable narrator in those instances because she's in love with Jamie, not happy in her situation, and so likely looking for as many faults as she can find. She's bound to focus on the most negative things, and even twist them to make them worse because of that.

To me, the main thing the show does so much better than the books, the one area where the adaptation soars above the source material is exploring Claire's life. When I first read the books, namely Outlander, but the subsequent ones as well, it puzzled me that Claire, whom I thought to be the main character, or at least, one of the main characters, was so one-dimensional and under-developed. We learned so many things about other characters' backgrounds and such -- especially Jamie -- but Claire's past is largely glossed over, or ignored completely. Am I the only one who would love to hear her recount tales of some of her adventures with Uncle Lamb? So I loved that last season explored her experiences in World War II, and that this season, they're obviously fleshing out exactly what she went through during those 20 years away from Jamie.

Of course, I know now why Claire in the books is the way she is -- the story isn't her story, it's not even Jamie and Claire's story, it's just Jamie's story. Diana Gabaldon explained that at some book event she was at last year. It's Jamie's story as told by Claire -- so Claire doesn't need to be fully fleshed out -- she's just a tool to tell Jamie's story. So I love that the show isn't that.

Did anyone else find Jamie and Black Jack's final battle tinged with... I won't say eroticism exactly, but some kind of warped love (mostly on BJR's part). Right up to the very end, when Jack collapses into Jamie's arms and they fall to the ground together. Also made me wonder if that was really Tobias lying on top of Sam during the scenes where Jamie was drifting in and out of consciousness on the battlefield. Turns out, it was for a good part of it.

I found myself getting EXTREMELY riled up when that snooty professor was being so condescending and patronising to Claire, and again the doctor at the hospital. I'm old enough to have encountered attitudes similar to those -- not quite as bad, but ooh... those scenes touched a nerve or two!

The little things -- Jamie clutching the piece of amber Claire had given him before going back through the stones -- even with Jack lying on top of him, Jamie is holding on to the one remaining thing he has that reminds him of Claire. And then Claire's "where is my baby?" moment when she regains consciousness after giving birth. That was so gut-wrenching...

I thought the actor who played Hal (Lord Melton) was very good. Hope we get enough seasons to see him come back!

I can't think of anything negative about this episode... except, the ending was so abrupt. But that was obviously deliberate. We see Claire and Frank so happy (for once), finally looking as if they can actually make things work between them, and then BANG! A reminder of Jamie is thrown between them. Ouch. Made me think of the lyrics of the Talking Heads song, Once in a Lifetime...
Jill aka Josireesanwar on September 13th, 2017 08:22 pm (UTC)
For me it really seems like a hint at the battle ahead of both of them too.

I think Sam was the best we've ever seen in this episode. All his subtle comments lying there suffering. It was fantastic.

I've never liked Frank but that stems from that moment in episode 1 where he basically asks Claire if she cheated during the war. One can construe that as his thoughts upon seeing a Scot staring up at her but the way he phrased it always reminds me of a cheater who is blaming the spouse for his wrongdoing. He doesn't even ask if it happened. Just says if she did he'd forgive her. But I've always thought he really wouldn't.

Granted in the show they are clearly making Frank a better man than in the show because I don't feel he's the same.


I really liked her neighbor who seemed to be trying to figure out Claire who didn't seem that welcoming to me. I couldn't tell if that was shyness as she's never had many gal pals or being closed off.

Yes! BJR dying and almost leaning into Jamie was twisted but Jamie was clearly losing blood too so... It was weird. I kept wanting him to push BJR off him but it seemed more real that he might not have had the strength.

Oh didn't you want to smack that professor when he was patronizing Claire. I do have to give credit to Frank for bragging about Claire's nursing but it didn't go over well.

Jamie dropping the dragonfly in amber when he is moved from the field is such a great touch and how it was then found on the field and put in the museum there. I loved that.

When Claire woke up and didn't see her baby. Oh that really twisted the heart strings and then seeing her light up holding Bree. It was great.

I liked the abrupt ending too. I thought it was appropriate that they immediately have the question of Bree's characteristics. Red hair? Where did that come from?
Jill aka Josireesanwar on September 13th, 2017 08:28 pm (UTC)

Jill aka Josireesanwar on September 13th, 2017 08:29 pm (UTC)

Jill aka Jo: Outlander: 1743 Clairesireesanwar on September 13th, 2017 08:59 pm (UTC)
The ghostly figure of Claire coming to Jamie was powerful. It gave me goosebumps. And then it ending up being Rupert was so nice. I got really excited to see Rupert there on the screen.

When Rupert picks him up he drops the dragonfly in amber which is where it is found by historians later for Claire to see in the museum. FULL CIRCLE!

As they went over the bodies. I think I saw Murtagh there. Anyone else?

What did you all think of the American citizenship convo that dissolved into a huge fight?

It seemed like Claire was trying up until Frank touched her and she just can't seem to stomach the idea of another man other than Jamie. I find it a little sad for Frank but I also wonder if it is a pregnancy thing too. Is Claire's past experience with Faith playing into it at all?

We meet Lord Melton who turns out to be John Grey's brother. Loved it. I was deeply saddened that Rupert went to his death. I kept wishing he's escape somehow. I liked that he made peace with Jamie about Dougal's death but it always bugs me that Jamie doesn't say... Dougal was trying to kill Claire. I mean he doesn't have to say why.

FRANK ASKS ABOUT JAMIE!!!! Frank is writing to Rev. Wakefield about Jamie so he's clearly curious. I loved this little piece tossed in. It seemed like Frank didn't know what to believe but now he's curious.

Melton sends Jamie back to Lallybroch much to his disappointment. I love Jamie's comments about Grey offering to kill him and how he's let Melton do it for him. Then him saying he wants to be shot. Sam was so great with all his fevered comments.

The doctor being an ass to Claire like she wouldn't know a thing about her pregnancy. Slap him too! And Frank standing there clueless. But the bombshell about her previous miscarriage. That stunned Frank.

Did they really put mother's under for delivery back then??? That is nuts. And Claire waking without her baby like with Faith. So heartbreaking. But rectified when Frank comes in with a squirming Brianna. The joy. They love. They happiness. So great.

And then Claire confessing being horrid to Frank who seems willing to forgive anything NOW.

Bombshell NO. 2. Where did the red hair come from?

Shhhh... Jamie Fraser.


This was just such a strong episode. I think it is my favorite for the three premieres.

Edited at 2017-09-13 08:59 pm (UTC)
siobhan63: powerpuffmesiobhan63 on September 13th, 2017 11:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Claire being put under to give birth. Do you follow the Outlander Writers account on Twitter? They were asked about that: https://twitter.com/OutlanderWriter/status/907431620642185216
Jill aka Josireesanwar on September 13th, 2017 11:34 pm (UTC)
I'm not on twitter much.

That is really interesting.